The Indian High Commission in Canberra on Thursday condemned the “deeply disturbing” incidents of vandalisation of three Hindu temples in Melbourne and asked the Australian Government to ensure the safety and security of members of the Indian community and their properties in the country.
Last week, ISKCON`s Hare Krishna Temple was vandalized in Melbourne`s Albert Park area, while Shri Shiva Vishnu Temple in Carrum Downs was vandalized on January 16 and BAPS Swaminarayan Temple in the Mill Park area on January 12.
“The High Commission of India strongly condemns the deeply disturbing incidents of vandalisation, including of three Hindu temples in Melbourne in recent weeks. The frequency and impunity with which the vandals appear to be operating are alarming, as are the graffiti which includes glorification of anti-Indian terrorists,” read a release issued by the Indian High Commission in Canberra on its official Twitter handle @HCICanberra.
The commission said that these vandalisation incidents are clear attempts to sow hatred and division among the peaceful multi-faith and multi-cultural Indian-Australian community.”Signals that pro-Khalistan elements are stepping up their activities in Australia, actively aided and abetted by members of proscribed terrorist organisations such as the Sikhs for Justice (SFJ) and other inimical agencies from outside Australia, have been evident for some time,” the release read.
According to the Indian High Commission in Canberra, India`s concerns have been shared with the Australian Government, both by the High Commission and by India`sConsulates in Australia, and by the Indian Government with the Australian High Commission in Delhi.”It is hoped that not only will the perpetrators be brought to justice but suitable action will also be taken to prevent further attempts,” the commission said.
“In addition, our concerns about the so-called referendum in Melbourne and Sydney, Australia, announced by the proscribed organisation, the Sikhs for Justice, have been conveyed to the Australian Government,” the release read.
Recently, Australian High Commissioner to India had also condemned the vandalisation of a Hindu temple engraved with anti-India graffiti in Melbourne`s Albert Park and said that the country won’t tolerate hate speech or violence.
“I am gravely concerned by the mindless vandalism of Hindu temples in Victoria. Australia does not tolerate hate speech or violence, and Australian authorities are investigating,” Barry O`Farrell said in a statement given to media on the mail.
He recalled Australia`s Foreign Minister and said, “the Indian diaspora are valued and important contributors to our vibrant and resilient multicultural society.”Farell said that Australia values diversity and inclusion and also respects the right of individuals to engage in peaceful protest, and supports the non-violent expression of views. The Australian Government will continue to work closely with faith leaders to promote community harmony, he added.